An-Sofie Claeys's research while affiliated with Ghent University and other places

Publications (38)

Article
This study examines how both the content (i.e., denial vs. apology) and the verb voice (i.e., active voice vs. passive voice) of a crisis response affect the public's perception of crisis responsibility and, subsequently, the reputation of an organization accused of wrongdoing. The results of two experiments first show that an apology results in hi...
Article
Organizations in crisis should, above all, demonstrate compassion, concern, and empathy to relieve psychological distress among their stakeholders. In addition, a display of empathy can mitigate reputational damage as well. But how can an organization in crisis put expressions of empathy into words? This study examines three distinct manners to ver...
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Sixteen in-depth interviews with Belgian crisis communication practitioners were conducted to get their perspectives on the role of empathy in crisis communication. While demonstrating empathy toward crisis-affected stakeholders is considered an essential best practice, the role of empathy in responding to crises has only received limited attention...
Article
Organizations in crisis can struggle to determine what the most effective response might be. Crisis responses can range between reactive or proactive, vague or transparent, defensive or accommodative, etc. When determining a stance, organizations must take into account not only the reputational consequences of their response, but legal and financia...
Article
During an ongoing outbreak of Legionnaires' disease in Belgium, residents of the affected area took part in an online field experiment. The impact of four distinct crisis messages used by the Belgian authorities was tested on uncertainty, fear and trust. After receiving any of these messages, participants felt less insecure, less anxious and had mo...
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine the effectiveness of social media guidelines (SMGs), as well as their impact on control mutuality, a sub-dimension of the organization–employee relationship (OER). A total of two studies compare guidelines with a focus that is either predominantly incentive or restrictive. In addition, they investigat...
Article
In this study, we conducted two experiments to examine how emotions expressed, both verbally and visually, by the CEO of an organization in crisis affect organizational reputation. In the first experiment, we compared the impact of emotional (sadness) message framing to rational framing during the acute crisis stage. Results revealed that verbally...
Article
This study examines how sadness, expressed through the voice of a CEO of an organization in crisis, affects the public's perceptions in times of crisis. A first experiment shows that a sad voice increases the public's empathy toward the CEO, which results in positive attitudes toward the organization. However, at the same time, that sad voice resul...
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Seventeen in-depth interviews with professional media trainers from Belgium were carried out to examine which recommendations are offered during media training of organizational spokespersons. The interviews reveal the recommendations of media trainers concerning verbal, visual, and vocal cues of spokespersons, with special focus on addressing the...
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This study advances our theoretical knowledge of how organizational crises and crisis communication affect reputation. Prior research solely emphasizes the importance of organizational crisis responsibility in this process. Three experiments show that stakeholders’ empathy toward the organization provides a second explanation. The first two experim...
Article
Organizations in crisis often fail to select the optimal crisis response strategy, preferring strategies that avoid short-term losses over the ones that offer long-term gains. This article proposes a descriptive theory of behavioral crisis communication that uses principles of behavioral economics to explain the recurrence of suboptimal anomalies f...
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Full-text available
When a chief executive officer or spokesperson responds to an organizational crisis, he or she communicates not only with verbal cues but also visual and vocal cues. While most research in the area of crisis communication has focused on verbal cues (e.g., apologies, denial), this paper explores the relative importance of visual and vocal cues by sp...
Article
This paper examines the impact of expressing different discrete emotions with a mixed valence (anger and hope) in organizational crisis communication on negative word-of-mouth on social media. In particular, the effects of expressing discrete emotions with a single valence (either positive or negative) versus mixed valence (expressing both positive...
Article
This paper examines the impact of expressing different discrete emotions with a mixed valence (anger and hope) in organizational crisis communication on negative word-of-mouth on social media. In particular, the effects of expressing discrete emotions with a single valence (either positive or negative) versus mixed valence (expressing both positive...
Article
This study examined the relative importance of verbal and visual cues in organizational crisis communication, focusing on the importance of gender similarity between an organizational spokesperson and stakeholders and the moderating role of the crisis response strategy used. The findings indicate that gender similarity is beneficial for organizatio...
Article
Crisis communication research has mainly focused on verbal response strategies, such as apologies and denial. However, organizations and individuals in crisis often respond in an audiovisual manner (e.g., press conferences, corporate videos). Audiovisual messages convey not only verbal but also nonverbal cues (e.g., gaze aversion, speech errors). T...
Article
Social media enable organizations in crisis to communicate regularly about crisis events to the public. Furthermore, consumers have the opportunity to respond to the organization’s posts about the crisis. Little is known, however, about how organizations should deal with online consumer comments to such posts. Therefore, the current study examines...
Article
Research on crisis communication has mainly focused on verbal aspects of organizational responses. However, the nonverbal cues of the organizational spokesperson communicating about the crisis may also influence stakeholders’ perceptions. This study examines the impact of two vocal cues, voice pitch and speech rate. In addition, the study examines...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to examine employers’ policy with regard to employees’ social media use. Specifically, the authors examine the extent to which employers allow the use of social media in the workplace, what opportunities can be related to employees’ social media use and how social media guidelines are implemented within organiza...
Article
When organizations are confronted with a crisis, they sometimes have the opportunity to decide whether or not to disclose that information. Organizations may hesitate to reveal such negative events out of fear of drawing unnecessary attention to the crisis, legal liability, or other related problems. The aim of this article is to discuss the pros a...
Article
Full-text available
Twenty-five in-depth interviews with Belgian crisis communication practitioners were conducted to examine the gap between theory and practice. Crisis communication has become an important research area within public relations. Several studies have resulted in theories and guidelines regarding the effective use of communication during organizational...
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Purpose The purpose of this paper is to address the under-researched issue of how formal determinations of organizational responsibility for a crisis affect the effectiveness of the denial strategy in protecting organizational reputation. Because studies that omit later determinations of responsibility produce misleading representations of the valu...
Article
This study examines the impact of self-disclosing incriminating information in the context of organizational crises. Study one indicates that when an organization self-discloses a crisis, participants devote less attention to subsequent negative publicity and any attention this information receives has less impact on the organizational post-crisis...
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Despite the increasing number and relevance of both transnational organizations and international organizational crises, research on such crises from an audience-oriented perspective is rare and largely based on narrative case studies. Audience-related research on organizational crises has extensively analyzed stakeholder attribution of crisis caus...
Article
The impact of emotional communication on perceived sincerity and reputation of organizations in crisis The impact of emotional communication on perceived sincerity and reputation of organizations in crisis This paper examines the impact of emotional communication of an organizational spokesperson in times of crisis on consumers’ perceptions of the...
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Facebook as a corporate communication tool for companies? A content analysis of the communication strategies of reputable Belgian companies on the social network site Facebook as a corporate communication tool for companies? A content analysis of the communication strategies of reputable Belgian companies on the social network site This study used...
Article
This paper examines the impact of emotional communication of an organizational spokesperson in times of crisis on consumers’ perceptions of the spokesperson (i.e. sincerity) and the organization (i.e. reputation) by two experimental studies. The results of study one using a 2 (crisis timing strategy: thunder vs. stealing thunder) × 2 (rational vs....
Article
This study investigates the degree to which a favorable (vs. an unfavorable) pre-crisis reputation shields organizations from reputational loss due to crises. The results indicate that organizations with a favorable pre-crisis reputation suffer less reputational loss from a crisis than organizations with an unfavorable pre-crisis reputation. The ex...
Article
This paper examines the impact of nonverbal expressions of power by organizational spokespersons during different crisis stages. Study 1 investigates how vocal nonverbal cues express power during crises and how this affects perceptions of spokespersons. The results illustrate that a spokesperson who speaks with a lowered voice pitch, which expresse...
Article
Authorities often refrain from communicating risks out of fear to arouse negative feelings amongst the public and to create negative reactions in terms of the public’s behavior. This study examines the impact of communicating risks on the public’s feelings and behavioral intentions regarding an uncontrollable risk related to fresh produce. In addit...
Article
This study investigates the moderating impact of crisis involvement and message framing on the effect of crisis response strategies on post-crisis attitude toward an organization. In the experiment, 274 respondents participate in a 2 (crisis response strategy: match vs. mismatch) × 2 (crisis involvement: low vs. high) × 2 (message framing: emotiona...
Article
This study investigates the moderating impact of the timing of crisis disclosure on the effect of crisis response strategies on organizational post-crisis reputation. It proposes that self-disclosing a crisis allows organizations to avoid explicitly taking or rejecting responsibility by means of a crisis response strategy. A 2 (crisis timing strate...
Chapter
Academic interest in the field of crisis communication has significantly increased over the years (Ulmer et al., 2007). Corporations are becoming more and more aware that crises can and will happen to organizations just like themselves (Benson, 1988). No company can escape all crises during its life cycle, and it is during these crisis situations t...
Article
This study attempts to provide empirical evidence for Coombs’ (2007) Situational Crisis Communication Theory (SCCT), which provides guidelines for matching crisis response strategies to crisis types to best restore organizational reputations in times of crisis. The impact of crisis type and crisis response strategies on perceptions of corporate rep...

Citations

... However, existing studies have not paid enough attention to detecting misinformation, how it is spread, and the early intervention of misinformation (Borah et al., 2021).Fifth, the information forms of crisis communication of governments or organizations must be enriched. The form of crisis information represented by text on Twitter has been verified(Claeys et al., 2021). Likewise, the form of images represented by Instagram has gradually attracted the attention of researchers(Malik et al., 2021). ...
... However, it could represent a real opportunity for revising and reforming existing organisational strategies and public policies and enable a chance for corporate overhaul and leadership amendments (O'Donovan 2017). Therefore, during a crisis, there is a need for effective management and leaders who can help save people, manage the unexpected and harmful outcomes of the crisis, and get everything to the right track (Boin and Hart 2003;Claeys and Opgenhaffen 2021). ...
... As emotion plays an important role in crisis communication (Schoofs & Claeys, 2021), research has suggested the value of distinguishing emotions such as anger, sadness, sympathy, and depression in tourists' behavior (Coombs, 2007;Jin, 2013;Schoofs & Claeys, 2021;Weiner, 1979). Jin (2013) argues that making such distinctions in studying the spectrum of negative and positive emotions will provide useable insights for communication with the public in a crisis. ...
... Previous research has examined the effects of different sources of crisis communication (e.g., the CEO as a spokesperson; Denner et al., 2019;Tkalac Verčič et al., 2019), but there has been little work investigating the effects of source characteristics on personal and organizational reputation. Scholars have analyzed the influence of nonverbal cues, e.g., visual, verbal, and vocal characteristics (e.g., Claeys & Cauberghe, 2014;Gorn et al., 2008;De Waele et al., 2017De Waele, Schoofs et al., 2020), or of gender and gender similarity (e.g., Crijns, Claeys, et al., 2017a;Kapuścińsk et al., 2021;Kulczynski et al., 2021) on perceptions of spokespeople, but, to our knowledge, no attention has been paid to private information about the CEO as a form of personalization or how such information can support the chosen crisis response strategy of an organization in crisis. ...
... However, establishing a complete internal crisis management system to improve the risk awareness is more important than hardware capability improvement. Extensive previous researches prove that enhancing employees' crisis management ability is an effective way to deal with emergencies (Melissa, 2017;Kubiak, 2019;Waele, 2020). Therefore, enhancing the professional quality of employees has reached consensus in various industries (Miller, 2005;Lucio, 2005;Lefebvre, 2009Han, 2011Kramera, 2018). ...
... Regarding image transfer effects in a crisis context, Crijns, Claeys, et al. (2017a) found a positive connection between perceived empathy for a spokesperson and perceptions of their organization in the context of a preventable crisis. Schoofs et al. (2019) also found a positive effect of perceived empathy for a CEO on perceptions of their organization. Therefore, trust in and empathy for a CEO may lead to a positive perception of their organization, as expressed in the following hypotheses ( Figure 1): ...
... Furthermore, the focus on CERC success stories rather than on failure hampered the assessment of CERC failure (c.f. Coombs & Holladay, 2017;Lundgren & McMakin, 2018). Indeed, many studies focus on how it is to be conducted and how coordination between the involved parties can be made more effective (Comfort, 2007). ...
... Mitroff (1994) posited the role of organizational learning as part of crisis management and this learning can modify the antecedent conditions. In addition, Claeys and Coombs (2020) suggested that future research consider how to avoid sub-optimal decision making in crises so that leaders avoid repeated mistakes. The model in Figure 3 provides for this feedback loop as well as a recognition of the organization's past behavior. ...
... The extent to which corporations are sincere in their crisis communication announcements signals their level of consideration in consumer interest and well-being, when developing trust recovery initiatives (Xie and Peng, 2009;Xiao et al., 2018). In comparison with rational framing, an emotionally framed announcement which focuses on subjective and emotional factors, is normally perceived by customers as more sincere (Claeys et al., 2013). ...
... Specifically, the current study explores the effects of emotional framing in crisis response messages and how they affect organizational reputation and forgiveness. The publics' perception of an organization during a crisis depends on how crisis spokespeople frame the crisis response messages (Schoofs et al., 2021;Xiao et al., 2018). Extant research has explored the impact of emotional vs. rational framing (e.g., Kim & Cameron, 2011). ...